Check out our interview of David Malan, co-owner of Baylands Speedshop. In our interview, David spills the beans on his popular 510 mid controls, and share's his thoughts on other related topics.
David, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Martinez CA, a smaller refinery town in the heart of the East Bay area, about a half an hour from Oakland, which I think had a great deal of influence on me. A perfect mix of nature, industrial, and local history (birth place of Joe DiMaggio, and home of John Muir).
How long have you been riding? What was your first motorcycle, and what do you currently ride?
I have early memories of being a kid riding on my uncles Evo Electra Glide; sitting on his lap holding the handlebars. I didn’t know it then, but that’s the moment motorcycles got under my skin. I started riding (much to my mother's dismay) at around fifteen--when I got the chance to hop on my older buddy's Harley. I remember flying past her car on the main drag in town; all while I was supposed to be in class. I always thought led sleds, hot rods, and Harley’s were a lot cooler than High School classes, except auto shop (LOL). My first motorcycle was a junk 1982 Kawasaki kz650 that didn’t have a prayer of running; but it was a great gateway drug to wrenching. My next bike was a 1979 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster. I still miss that bike. I currently ride a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street Bob.
Tell us a little about the name of your company, Baylands Speedshop. Where is the company based out of, and how long have you been in business? Number of employees?
The company is named after a famous drag strip that was in Fremont, CA--originally called Freemont Drags, and then later, Baylands. We are based out of Martinez, CA, and have been in business since 2016. We don't have any employees yet. My buddy Frank (co-founder) and I are it.
So we’ve been following you for a while on Instagram and have noticed that your 510 mid-controls have really taken off. What inspired you to create them?
It would have to be a couple of things, the greatest of which would be the environment that I cut my teeth riding in--whether it’s the twisting backroads of the East Bay hills (Oakland hills), or riding on highways 80, 880, 580, 680, and 24. Almost a gladiator school for riders from this area that develop an attack like riding position, with feet under the knees to allow more input and control over your bike--without having to have rear sets. So, we thought, "why not just put the pegs there, where we put our feet in the first place"? The challenge then became how to engineer the controls in such a way that your average rider (with basic tools) could install them, and not only put the foot controls where the factory should have, but also make the design look and fit the bike better than the factory. I think we’ve done just that.
Can you talk a little bit the design process? R&D, etc.
I am big on mixing both state of the art tech with old school craftsmanship and techniques. We started with a CAD drawing of basic parts to verify mounting and fit, with a stand-off going three inches back--then 3D printed prototypes in plastic, and hand shaped and fitted them to my 2015 Dyna Street Bob. With the help of a good friend, we made slight improvements to the design to allow them to fit 1999-2017 Dynas; both five speeds and six speeds. We went with high grade 303 stainless steel for the parts, and also changed the brake pedal bushing to a two piece oil-impregnated bronze bushing that lubes itself with friction, and also gets rid of that shake that (brand new) stock pedals have.
How has the feedback been on the mid-controls?
All of our 510 mid control customers love the foot position and fast crisp shifting. They also have commented on how well they are made.
What do have to say to the rider who can still manage to scrape your 510 setup? Impressed?
I love hearing this, although it is harder to do with our mids. The reason I love it is that I know that customers are out using them for what they were intended, and their confidence has improved or helped take their skills to the next level--which is why we’ve sponsored great stunt riders and Harley track riders to put our product to the test.
What are your thoughts on the current mid-control offerings/kits you’ve seen thus far for the new Milwaukee-Eight Softails? It looks like there’s a lot involved to get mids on the new "Dyna" models.
I will say that I understand why the factory designed the stock foot controls (won’t call them mids, LOL), having one frame to produce and simplify production. With that said, I like what I’ve seen and I'm impressed on the amount of thought and engineering that was involved. Although, there’s a simpler/cleaner way to do it. I’m happy to see aftermarket companies like mine leading the charge to correct the shit foot position that comes from the factory w/ the crazy long shifter.
Any advice you can give to someone who is trying to enter the parts/accessories business?
The best advice I could give is the same I got from Jonathan Ward of Icon 4x4. Stay true to your vision of what you want your company and product to be, and never deviate from that. Also, good enough is never good enough. It's a long road and not a easy one; it won’t happen overnight, so keep grinding and don’t stop till it’s a reality. Learn as much as you can about all sides of it--from business, to production, to logistics. The more knowledge you have, the better off you will be, because in the beginning--it’s just gonna be you.
Now, we understand the 510’s are currently available for Dynas. Any plans on expanding to other Harley-Davidson or Indian models, perhaps baggers?
Yes. While our mid controls currently fit only Dynas, we have a cool concept going for the Milwaukee-Eight Softails right now. Stay tuned for that. Also, we've been working with a great customer & friend on converting his 2018 Road Glide to run our 510 mid controls.
Any new products coming out soon from Baylands Speed Shop?
Yep, we have a couple new products. Our Cali kickstand lift block kit, which is all CNC aircraft grade aluminum--adding style and clean design (no visible mounting hardware), along with a 1-3/4 lift to kill some of that gangster lean. We also got a couple new parts coming soon. Kinda top secret (LOL). We're also working on a 2016 Low Rider build--a company build. Stay tuned for that.
Where can people checkout/purchase your products?
People can check out what we've got going on through our Instagram @baylandsspeedshop. Our parts are available through our vendors Hard Case Performance, Rogue Rider Industries, Invisivin, HD Kings Racing, and in Japan, Sunny Side Garage.
Any final words?
Yeah, I just wanna say thank you to all our great customers vendors and supporters, especially others from the industry like invisivin, Hardcase Rouge Rider, Ramjet Racing, and Ramsey Speed and Custom--to name a few. Also, those braving the scene to cover it and shine a light on us like V-Twin NOW and V-Twin Visionary. Also, keep your eyes on us. We will be continuing to try and change the game and take it to a new level.